Do you want to Find a Profitable Booking Channel?
In this guide, we will discuss why you need to have a well-designed website for the hotel, how your hotel website can drive direct bookings, and how you can do it on your own.
Then, you need to create hotel website that can save your OTA commissions and give you incremental returns in the future. Moreover, investing in a hotel website can engage your guests and personalize your guest journey.
Table of Contents
Benefits of having a well-designed website for hotels
- Serves as the main communication channel
A professional website for hotels serves as the main communication channel where guests are looking for hotel information. The information should be organized on the website and provide a simple and intuitive navigation interface.
It is a perfect way for you to answer all your guest queries. When people land on your website, they are interested in knowing more about your hotel and searching for answers such as where your hotel is located, how your rooms look like, what extra amenities you provide, etc.
So, you no longer need to hire your customer support team to answer your guest questions; your website is available 24/7, so you can keep your customers engaged all the time, even in the middle of the night.
- Expand your reach
With a well-designed website for hotels, you can expand your hotel presence, and it is not limited to the area in which you are operating.
An attractive website can help you expand your customer base as you are not restricted to an area near your hotel.
You are based in Chicago, but a professional hotel website can give you customers from Japan, Argentina, and worldwide.
- Advertise for free
Your hotel’s website reflects a digital brochure. It acts as the central hub where you can organize your information in one place and is more effective than print media and other marketing materials.
In today’s world, creating a hotel website acts as the digital front door, especially when people spend their entire day/night on search engines like Google.
With a website, you can showcase your products and services to the outside world with just a few clicks away.
In a nutshell, investment in a website costs a few dollars, and the return is exceptionally high in the long term.
- Encourage guests to book directly with you
Increasing sales has become one of the challenges for the hotel, so a website can help you get more bookings online.
It’s not just a contact form; it acts as an online reservation system wherein guests can inquire about hotel availability, compare rates, check special packages and offers, and secure bookings.
- Compete with OTAs
If you rely on sites such as Booking.com or other OTAs, it’s the right time to create a hotel website.
Most hoteliers tend to rely on OTAs to get bookings; they think creating a hotel website is an expensive affair and a difficult task to build.
A clean and attractive website can help you generate leads worldwide and turn them into bookings. Thus, you are getting closer to your guests as you are not only building relationships with your guests but also saving extra costs of third-party commissions.
According to Skift’s report, 31% of respondents use hotel booking websites. So, if you have a fully functional website, your guests can book directly with you, and you can even run weekend offers or provide early bird discounts to customers. Thus, you can earn direct revenue from bookings.
How do websites increase direct bookings for your hotel?
According to ET hospitality.com, a hotel website acts as a digital storefront for direct bookings. A robust digital presence can help you get more direct bookings from OTAs, Google, and social media.
Here’s how a hotel website can help you get direct bookings –
1. Have a mobile-friendly website
To get direct bookings, you need to have a mobile-friendly website that should be accessible on all devices, whether it’s a PC, laptop, or even tablet. Have a mobile-optimized layout because half of the travelers, as per Tnooz reports, prefer to complete bookings from a mobile-optimized website.
Moreover, it should be eye-catching, user-friendly, and load quickly.
2. Optimize your hotel website for SEO
Optimizing your website for search engines is another way to drive more bookings. Apart from that, your website has relevant content so that those specific terms get picked up when potential searchers look for those terms or phrases.
If your website is not SEO friendly, it means-
In addition, you need to get an understanding of hotel SEO so that you can drive traffic to your website-
- Optimize your Google My Business profile (GMB) and add a link to your website.
- Add relevant keywords in your website metadata.
- Come up with fresh content on your website and add target keywords throughout the copy in a natural fashion. Create a blog at least once/weekly and use internal links wherever required.
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly because most hotels are creating mobile-friendly and responsive websites to enhance the user experience. Take the example of Starwood Hotel, which provides a mobile app for guests to do check-in and check-out, receive alerts when rooms become ready, and unlock their rooms through smartphones.
- Lastly, your website should load quickly because no guest prefers to stick with websites that continue to load for more than 10 seconds. Hence, a slight delay in website loading can affect your conversion rates. Test your page load speed of the website using gtmetrix.com
3. Use enticing CTAs on your website
Consider a situation wherein a visitor landed on your website and explored your services and other website pages, but still, he didn’t book a hotel with you because he did not know what to do next. This is where the Call to action (CTA) comes in.
Your website should have benefit-oriented CTAs such as BOOK NOW that lead visitors to make reservations and compel them to take action.
More importantly, your CTAs should be visible to the guests, appear above the fold, and use action verbs to drive immediate action.
4. Use widgets on your website
You can increase the possibilities of converting visitors into guests when you engage with them. Your visitors are most likely to get engaged with you when you offer direct booking discounts to them.
Guests can make direct bookings when they get access to perks and offers.
A few instances can be “Book with us directly and get 15% off on your F&B bill”.
As per the Skift report, around 45% of travelers intend to book from those sites that offer perks and offers at the time of booking. Furthermore, invest in a booking engine with plug-and-play widgets such as quick notifications, a welcome box, an exit pop, and much more.
How to create and design your hotel website?
Creating a website might seem a daunting task for you.
You have 2 options: hire a professional website designer who will design your website from scratch or invest in a smart website builder tool that can provide customized designs for you. The latter is cost-effective for you.
Hiring a website designer takes more time and costs more bucks. Then, why not invest in a smart website builder tool?
With our CreateWith (smart hotel website builder), you can drive direct bookings by creating an SEO-optimized SMART website for your hotel business.
We will help you manage your hotel website and save 90% of the commissions given to OTAs. So, you will be SEO-ready and have higher chances of ranking on top of SERP.
To give you a quick walkthrough, here are the steps to help you create a professional website for your hotel-
1. Define your website goals and target audience
You need to have a clear WHY as to why you need a website for your hotel. Do you want to get direct bookings, generate leads, or create brand awareness? After identifying website goals, tailor your website content accordingly.
2. Choose a domain name and select a hosting provider
It involves choosing a domain name and selecting a hosting provider. While the hosting provider is the one that stores your website files. Go with a hosting plan and see the wide variety of packages and pricing it offers. Then, you need to see whether the domain name is available.
3. Choose a Content Management System (CMS)
You can choose various types of CMS for creating a hotel website. Some of them include WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, etc. The CMS you choose should be easy to use and support various features such as integration with social media, responsive design, etc.
4. Select a template for your hotel website
After you pick a hotel template, choosing from free and premium website templates is high time. Make sure to choose a template that aligns with your hotel brand.
5. Design your hotel website
Now, you have 2 options – either design your website yourself or invest in a smart website builder, even if you have no coding expertise.
6. Add pages to your hotel website
Add those pages on your hotel website relevant to your hotel business, such as the home page, about us page, FAQ, reviews page, and contact page.
7. Optimize your website for SEO
SEO makes it easier for hoteliers to rank their websites at the top of search engines.
To optimize your website’s SEO, here’s what you should do:
- Add alternative text to your images.
- Use keywords strategically throughout the content. Avoid keyword stuffing. It’s bad practice.
- Get backlinks from high-quality websites
8. Launch your website
The final step involves launching and testing your hotel website. Testing your website is necessary to make sure that it’s working perfectly.
A professional website can take your hotel to the next level, even if you are from a locally known hotel, and transform you into one booked with international visitors.
A well-designed website is a fire for your hotel business, generates your brand awareness, and gives you incremental results in the long term.
So, why worry more? Reach new heights by creating a website that can drive direct bookings for you.